Wal-Mart Still Sees May Same-Store Sales up 4%-6%

It issues a tempered warning about this year's late Memorial Day.
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Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

backed its previous May same-store sales guidance Monday, but noted that sales in the latest week were soft because of a late Memorial Day this year.

The company said same-store sales are still expected to rise 4% to 6% in May. But the month's sales could be affected because the Memorial Day weekend falls in the June sales period, compared with May 2003.

The strongest categories in the week ended May 21 were pet supplies, food, toys and electronics. The strongest regions were the East and Northeast, the company said.

Both traffic and the average purchase, or "ticket," were positive for the week, with ticket making up almost two-thirds of the same-store sales increase.

The company opened 18 supercenters and 5 discount stores during the latest week.

Wal-Mart will release sales for the month ended May 28 on June 3 and will hold its annual shareholders' meeting on June 4.

Shares of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart closed at $55.09 Friday on the

New York Stock Exchange

.